Top 10 things that piss me off. Shitty tech support is number 2. Directly behind shitty drivers. I think it might have just become number 1.
This is just a warning/rant. To all of you who are thinking about getting a new graphics card, avoid the XFX 6600GT (AGP) like the black plague.
Two weeks ago I ordered one from NewEgg. During installation it became clear that there was something wrong with the card. The first time the computer booted with the new hardware it seemed fine. Windows found the hardware and I installed the latest drivers from Nvidia. I rebooted and things got weird. I was seeing “artifacts” on the screen. Little discolored left-over pixels. I had seen that before and figured it was driver issue. I upgraded DirectX to 9.0c as well as my Detonator drivers to the newer beta drivers that allegedly support the 6600 series better. This time I rebooted and nothing came back up. Once Windows started to load I got nothing, just a blank screen. I rebooted in safe mode, which thankfully worked, and uninstalled the drivers. Now I was back to “working” but incorrectly. I fired up Half-Life 2 to test the card out. Crash. The system hung hard when the game was starting it’s graphics engine. Reboot, this time again to a blank screen. After about 3 more hours of fooling with it I give up. I had double and triple checked everything from start to finish, the hardware itself, everything. That’s when I noticed that the heatsink/fan on the video card wasn’t actually attached to the chip on the card. It was attached to the board by 4 plastic locking screws and nothing else. The thermal pad/paste underneath was also not making contact. At this point I figured it was a factory defect and sent it back.
At least, that’s what I thought until last night. Last night I received the replacement card from NewEgg. I made sure to follow the horribly written, mangled English instructions step-by-step to make sure it wasn’t something I was doing. It was almost deja-vu. First boot was fine, drivers installed without a problem. I go to fire up a game and the system crashes. Reboot and I get nothing.
This time I’m angry. I called XFX tech support. I get walked through the first round of “moron questions”. “Did you install the card correctly?”, “Did you connect the power connector?”, “Did you install the drivers?”. I answer YES to everything and eventually get tired of the run around.
“Listen, just tell me if there’s any known issues with the card and my particular motherboard or power supply, I’m not a retard, I’ve done this sort of thing before.”
“Sir, I’m merely trying to determine if the problem is our card or your computer”
“Let me save you some time… it’s not me. My system is rock solid and has been since the day I built it. Your card is rated for a minimum 300W power supply. I have a 500W Antec TruePower. The power to the card is on its own separate power line and I’ve disconnected everything non-essential that could be drawing power.”
“Well, how old is the power supply?”
“Listen, it’s not the newest in the world, but up until 15 minutes ago it was running fine, and since you don’t have your tech support phone number in any of this brilliant documentation, I reinstalled my old video card so I could online and get the number to call you. Trust me, it’s not the power supply.”
“Do you have another power supply you could use to test?”
This went on for another twenty minutes, ending up with this…
“You know what, you’ve been the most unhelpful tech support person I’ve ever called, I’d like to speak to a manger”
*Gives me mangers extension but says he’s gone for the night* “Well, I’m sorry your upset, but I’m not sales, what would you like me to do? I can only have you return the card and we can test it here and send you a replacement”
“You know what, I just don’t care any more. I’m returning the card for a refund and I’m not going to buy anything from you again. I’m going to tell everyone I know to stay as far away from your products as possible. This is the SECOND card to fail. You realize that? This isn’t the first time your card has failed. TWO of them are complete crap. I’m willing to bet the rest of your product line also has problems.”
“I’m not sales, you’re not hurting me by getting a refund.”
“You’re right, not by getting a refund… but I will be calling your manager tomorrow.”
So, there you have it folks. Rude tech support from hell and shitty product to match. I wanted to believe that a 6600GT AGP would be the perfect card for me. It was at a decent price point, it’s AGP and not PCI-Express, and it’s not the power/resource hog of it’s bigger 6800 brothers. I was wrong. Shame on me for going “mid-range”. It’ll never happen again. I bought a 4600 for $400 when they were brand new and I’m going to do the same with the $6800. I’m going to wait for a deal on one, buy it, and upgrade the whole system. I done with messing around with sketchy companies just to save a few bucks. Screw you XFX, and the horse you rode in on.